“We had the idea of bringing speciality markets into the city before Mary Portas,” says Jackie Edwards, who runs two booming Sunday monthly markets in Winchester.
There is an antiques market with vintage and retro, which started with just 15 stalls two years ago and is now almost up to bursting with 70 stalls, plus an art and design market at 60 stalls, both held in the city's High Street. These are good, consistent figures for open-air antiques street markets.
Jackie, a freelance events manager with Winchester City Council, started it all for the council with the monthly art and design-led market in 2009, which bounced up from 19 stalls to 60.
Buoyed by the success of this, the council asked Jackie to see what interest there would be for an antiques market. She said: "Both markets have just snowballed and I'm now looking to expand the antiques and retro markets into a nearby car park, which would be particularly handy for the furniture dealers." The antiques and retro market is held on the first Sunday of the month; the art and design market on the third Sunday.
A big plus is that car parking is free on Sundays in Winchester - not always the case in cities and towns across the UK - and £40 buys a 3m gazebo from which the "mixture of antiques traders and passionate collectors may wish to buy as well as sell" linens and textiles, homewares, prints, books, furniture, silver, jewellery, retro and vintage, and all the other enticements that a busy antiques market can offer.
Jackie added: "The market suits the environment and both the public and shops are very happy with the idea of having it in the city centre. It attracts students both from Winchester College of Fashion and local universities as well as offering something different for all the tourists who visit." A blueprint for other cities, surely?
Contact Jackie, who is the markets' co-ordinator, on 07515 797878 on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday.